Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 4/8/12

The reasons a lot of teams like to spend money on proven closers (with a capital C!) is so their games can end in peace once the ninth inning rolls around, and they don't need to worry who's finishing things off. It's funny though, because blown saves seem to be quite in vogue so far this season. The Tigers-Red Sox game on Thursday featured a blown save from Jose Valverde, and a walkoff allowed by Mark Melancon. Chris Perez melted down in Cleveland on Thursday, and Sergio Santos repaid the favor by doing the same thing yesterday. The Cubs' combination of Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol has blown each of first two games of the season. The Royals late game combo of Aaron Crow and Greg Holland, neither of whom are the actual closer in Kansas City, got torched by the Angels on Friday. Even the legendsaren't immune, with Mariano Rivera blowing Friday's game against the Rays. What does this prove? Well, nothing. These things happen every so often. It really doesn't matter who your closer is. Much was made of the White Sox closing situation coming into the year, yet their first save of the season went to Hector Santiago and his 6 1/3 career innings yesterday. The current closing situation in baseball is much more irritating if you're a fantasy player than a standard fan though, that's for sure.

Game of the Night: Blue Jays 7, Indians 4 (12 innings). These two teams again? Yeah. The Blue Jays and Indians are now 2/2 in games of the night following their second extra inning game of the opening series. The game was tied at two going into the ninth inning, and a Kelly Johnson homer off of dominant Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano gave Toronto the lead. Of course, Toronto closer Sergio Santos allowed a game-tying homer to Asdrubal Cabrera to knot the game at 3 and cause chaos once again in Cleveland. Each starting pitcher had only allowed one hit over seven innings during their outing, and the offenses had combined for only five hits until the 12th inning. Then, the teams combined for eight hits and five runs, because this kind of nutty crap happens in baseball all the time. The Blue Jays got four, scoring that was started with a two run double by Rajai Davis and completed with an RBI single from Kelly Johnson. The Indians would fight back in the bottom of the inning against former Reds closer Francisco Cordero, but could only manage a single run. That was that, and Toronto is 2-0 after a pair of thrilling wins in Cleveland.

Pitching Line of the Night: A day after Yovani Gallardo got shelled by the Cardinals, Zack Greinke performed his best "chill out bro, I've got this" move. Greinke paced the Brewers be throwing seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out seven without a walk. Milwaukee won 6-0, and at least for one day, fans are breathing a lot easier in Milwaukee.

Hitting Line of the Night: Adam LaRoche was left for dead in a gutter somewhere in the slums of Washington DC after his awful, injury-laden 2011 campaign. The team pined for Prince Fielder to take LaRoche's role at first base, and when Prince went in another directoin, they were stuck with the former Brave and Pirate. LaRoche at least took a step towards respectability yesterday, going 4/5 with two runs, two RBI, and a homer. In fact, his homer in the fourth inning gave Washington a 2-1 lead that they'd immediately blow in the botom half of the inning. Every little bit counts, I guess.

Spotlight Series: Welp, I just wrote about LaRoche's standout performance in Chicago, the Nationals second straight comeback win against the Cubs. The Cubs held a 4-2 lead until the eighth inning yesterday, and then it happened again: Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol had another epic implosion that could define the Cubs season. Wood allowed three runs on three hits while getting just two outs, and Marmol followed by facing four batters, walking two of them, and allowing two hits. While Wood's performance was terrible, leaving with the bases loaded, Marmol essentially threw gasoline on the fire by allowing both of his inherited runners to score, and leaving with the bases loaded himself. You have to feel for Matt Garza, who's two run, six inning performance easily outdueled Gio Gonzalez and his four run, 3 2/3 inning line for the day. The Cubs offense struck out 13 times against Nationals pitching, and quite frankly, if you win a game where that happens, everything went right for you. Nothing really went right for the Cubs after Garza left yesterday.

Other Games: The Phillies lost 2-1 to the Pirates in ten innings, and have scored a whopping two runs so far this season. The Mets and their three solo homers topped the Braves 4-2. Aaron Hill hit two homers and potential Cy Young winner Madison Bumgarner was chased after just four innings in Arizona's 5-4 win. Jamie Moyer had an adequate start for the Rockies, but got no offensive support in a 7-3 loss. The Marlins offense caame out of hiding and blasted three homers in an 8-3 win over the Reds. The Dodgers beat the Padres 6-5 in 11 innings in a game highlighted by Dee Gordon reaching base five times, and eight Dodgers pitchers walking ten Padres. Yoenis Cespedes homered again for the A's, but it was enough and Oakland lost 8-7. The Rays beat the Yankees 8-6, but New York made it interesting with four in the ninth. Tommy Hunter outdueled Francisco Liriano (seriously) and Ronny Paulino had four hits (seriously), to put the Orioles at 2-0 after an 8-2 win over the Twins. The Tigers hit five homers off of Josh Beckett in the first five innings, and crushed the BoSox 10-0.

Today's Games: Clay Buchholz takes on Max Scherzer in Detroit as the Red Sox look to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Tigers. Carlos Zambrano makes his first start as a Marlin in Cincinnati against Bronson Arroyo. Jordan Zimmermann vs Jeff Samardzija is a sexy matchup of youngsters as the Nationals look for a sweep of the Cubs in the Spotlight Series. The Rays look to sweep the Yankees and put them in an early three game hole, and it will be up to Jeremy Hellickson outdueling Phil Hughes for that to happen.

Enjoy your day of baseballl, everyone.

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

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